Seattle - On April 16, Boeing carried out the first flight of the BBJ MAX successfully, the business jet version of its new generation single-aisle 737 MAX.
The aircraft is a product of the Boeing Business Jet (BBJ), a division of the North American manufacturer that operates in the business aviation area and currently offers business versions of the 737, 747-8, and 777.
We are thrilled to see the first BBJ MAX fly after many development stages,said Greg Laxton, head of Boeing Business Jets.
The first BBJ MAX is based on the 737 MAX 8, the first member of the new MAX family that debuted in commercial aviation in May 2017. Unlike the 737 MAX 8 capable of carrying 162 to 210 passengers, the capacity of BBJ MAX is ranging from eight to 50 passengers.
By carrying fewer passengers, the 737 business jet can fly longer distances. According to the manufacturer, the BBJ MAX 8 has a range of 12,297 km (6640 nm) with eight passengers, almost double of the commercial model.
As Boeing explains, the autonomy of the executive jet is greater due to the installation of an extra fuel tank in the space that is normally reserved for the cargo hold in the commercial model.
The BBJ MAX will be able to connect distant cities like the commercial widebody jets. That's one of the reasons this plane topped its competitor last year with a four-to-one ratio,Laxton said, referring to the Airbus' business jet ACJ320.
So far, Boeing has received 19 orders for the BBJ MAX. The first delivery of the new business jet is expected to happen by the end of this year. The base price of the aircraft is around $107 million without cabin configuration.